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Industrial Scottish couriers protest against 'enforced' hours

DELIVERY drivers in Scotland are staging protests today at changes to their contracts.

The couriers, who are members of general union GMB, say delivery firm DPD is cutting pay and introducing “enforced” working hours.

The 150 drivers are owner-driver franchisees, and are demonstrating at depots in Glasgow, Uddingston, Edinburgh and Dundee from 6am.

GMB says that in addition to pay cuts the company has introduced enforced weekend working, which the union believes is a breach of employment law, namely the working time directive.

The union says drivers are also being made to drive overloaded vehicles.

GMB’s attempts to meet the company have been rebuffed.

DPD views drivers as self-employed, though they have no control over changes to their contracts, cannot determine what days, hours, or routes they work and can only take two non-consecutive, unpaid, weeks off per year.

They are also subject to a £150 charge if they take an unauthorised day off due to sickness or bereavement.

GMB Scotland organiser Calne Waterson said: “Our members driving for DPD have been backed into a corner by these arbitrary and detrimental changes to their contracts.

“Their delivery rates have been slashed, which amounts to a pay cut, while they are now subject to enforced hours which GMB believes is in breach of the working time directive.

“On top of all this, the company has either ignored or refused GMB’s attempts to meet and discuss the drivers’ concerns.

“Drivers feel they have no option left but to make this protest.”

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